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article imageThose Hardest Hit Can Fend For Themselves, Says Burma's Junta

By Can Tran     May 30, 2008 in World
If you think Burma’s junta could not do or say anything else to warrant further backlash from the international community, you may want to reconsider that thought.
Burma’s junta has done many things to warrant backlash from the international community. Back in 1990, Burma’s junta had placed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest after she had won the elections. Suu Kyi should have been in power; however, Burma’s junta did not accept the results. Whenever Suu Kyi’s sentence was up, Burma’s junta continued to extend it.
Back in 2007, Burma received worldwide condemnation for its violent crackdown on the pro-democracy protests. However, Burma’s junta had brushed off all criticisms from the international community.
May of this year, Burma received more criticism about the ballot for the referendum on the country’s constitution. There was no “No” choice on the ballot. Voting was not optional. Critics have called it a sham stating it was a means for Burma’s junta to remain in control.
Days before voting was to take place, Burma was hit by Cyclone Nargis. Burma’s junta was highly criticized for its handling of the situation and not allowing international aid workers in to assess the damages. It was also criticized for its handling of the foreign aid received.
Recently, the junta was criticized for extending Suu Kyi’s house detention. But, Burma’s junta had brushed off all criticism from the international community.
Now, Burma’s junta has said something that could bring more international backlash. They have said to the aid donors that the survivors did not need “chocolate bars.” Also, the junta even criticized those living in the areas that were the hardest hit. The junta said that that those people did not need foreign help.
People from the Irrawaddy delta can survive on their own, even without bars of chocolate donated by the international community,” the junta said. In short, the junta said that the survivors can fend for themselves. But, there have been no reports of chocolate bars being sent to Burma.
The agencies gave high-energy biscuits, rice, and meals ready to eat (MREs). In an ironic note, Burma had continued with its rice exports. There have been reports that many of the survivors were given spoiled food.
While Cyclone Nargis has claimed many lives, many more are still at risk of death by waterborne diseases.
More about Burma, Myanmar, Cyclone nargis
 
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